I am a guitarist and composer working in a number of genres, but am best known for my work as a jazz musician. I lead The Sicilian Jazz Project, a group fusing Sicilian folk music with everything that Toronto has to offer (reggae, funk, African grooves, and of course jazz). My big band NOJO is an adventurous 16-piece group that performs modern original jazz compositions, but also has been rearranging classic rock albums such as Pink Floyd's Dark Side of The Moon. My group Triodes is a new instrumental funk/r&b group in the spirt of The Meters and Booker T and The M.G.'s but with a healthy does of jazz thrown in. Finally, my band Grooveyard is one of the busiest funk/r&b/pop bands in the city doing numerous parties and events. I have arranged music for classical ensembles such as The Gryphon Trio and the Art of Time Ensemble, performed with some of the biggest names in jazz (Don Byron, Joe Lovano), and worked with pop, blues, artists including Bruce Cockburn, Paul Reddick and the Sidemen, Maryem and Ernie Tollar, Suba Sankaran, and Lester McLean. I am the Artistic Director for Lake Field Music's summer music camp for amateur adult musicians, and am also Artistic Director for the Markham Jazz Festival.
Thoughts about art and community:
I was in Sicily last year receiving an award for The Sicilian Jazz Project, and I kept telling interviewers that the recording I made could only happen in a city like Toronto because musicians here are exposed to so many different kinds of music. The musicians I work with have expertise in so many genres of music and we all take it for granted that we are free to fuse the music of different cultures together. I travel across Canada and around the world, but I recognize how special Toronto is and would like to strengthen my ties to the community I live in.